Fall-season sports officials can use some help

Dennis Mikalenko of Seattle spent part of his stay on Kaua‘i helping officiate at the Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation pre-season football games last weekend.

Mikalenko survived the second-half drenching from passing showers in the third quarter of the Kapa‘a High School game against Kamehameha-Maui Friday night, but that did not dampen his spirit as he turned out Saturday to join the officials crew for the Kaua‘i High School game against King Kekaulike.

People on Kaua‘i can experience that same thrill as Randal Valenciano, president of the Kaua‘i Officials League, said people are needed to help officiate games, especially the football games.

The KIF fall season starts in earnest next Tuesday, and the Kaua‘i Pop Warner Football League fall season starts Friday with a double-header at Vidinha Stadium.

“There will be three leagues at the height of the fall season,” Valenciano said. “We definitely can use all the help we can get.”

Adding to the mix, several of the officials handling football games also double as officials for volleyball and basketball, adding to the need for football officials.

Lenny Rapozo, director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, is a football official who doubles as a basketball referee.

He stepped into his position following his father, Leo, who was an official doing duty for both KIF and Pop Warner.

Valenciano’s children, one home from college and another in high school, step in as junior officials, working everything from being ball people to handling the chain gang, and for Randon, being able to officiate Pop Warner games and even high school Junior Varsity matches.

“In addition to the KIF and the Pop Warner, which plays Saturday and Sunday, there will be the Kaua‘i Youth Football league, which has yet to release its fall schedule,” Valenciano said. “That’s a lot of football.”

Rapozo said people interested in turning out to be officials can call him at 639-1965 for more information.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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